Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Can it be said of You?

They took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 

A Christian should bear a striking resemblance to Jesus Christ. You have read books about Jesus, beautifully and eloquently written, but the best description of Christ is His living biography, written out in the words and actions of His people. If we are what we profess to be (what we should be), we will be pictures of Christ—such striking likenesses that the world will not have to hold us up at various times and say, “Well, it looks a little like Jesus.” Having seen our lives, people should exclaim, “They have been with Jesus; they have been taught by Him; they are like Him; they have caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth and work it out in their lives and everyday actions.” A Christian should be like Christ in boldness. Never blush over your religion; your faith will never disgrace you, so take care that you never disgrace it. Be like Jesus, courageous for your God. Imitate Him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, so people might say, “You have been with Jesus.” Imitate Jesus in His holiness. Was He zealous for His Master? Be the same; always go about doing good. Don’t waste time—it is too precious. Was Jesus self-denying, never looking to His own interests? Be the same. Was He devout? Be fervent in your prayers. Was He deferential to His Father’s will? Submit yourselves in the same way. Was He patient? Learn to endure. Best of all, as the highest representation of Jesus, try to forgive your enemies, as He did. Let those sublime words of your Master—“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NLT)—always ring in your ears. Forgive, as you hope to be forgiven. Heap coals of fire on the head of your enemy by your kindness to him (see Proverbs 25:21–22). Good for evil, remember, is godlike. Be godlike, then. In all ways and by all means, live so that everyone may say, “You have been with Jesus.” - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

We have many cliches and phrases about people and their similarities to relatives.  Sometimes it's said with good intentions sometimes it's not. 

For the believer in Jesus Christ, it's to live a life that reflects Him in Us.  People should be able to see something of Jesus in your life. 

I admit that I have had many times in my life when it's certainly been me that people see and not Jesus. 

There's even been a few times between Jesus and I that I haven't been a reflection of Christ.  

It's really been a lifelong lesson to learn how to take up my cross and follow Christ.   You first have to let go of everything because that cross is bulky.  It's of sufficient weight that it will take all of you plus the help of the Holy Spirit to maintain your grip on it.  Even that is to just get one end off the ground.  You will drag it the same as Jesus did.  
The next thing you should notice is there's no room nor ability to hold onto anything else while you are doing this.  Even your focus cannot be divided.  You know what you are doing and where you are going.  Your efforts in your walk with God are all that's on your mind. You look ahead at the destination.  One step at a time. 

It's the path of every believer.  

The part that's becoming clearer to me is that I seem to be trying to wear a backpack while doing so.  I bring along useless baggage that isn't necessary. 

The lives of people around us are at stake.  Satan really doesn't need to tempt us into selfishness we are professionals in our own right.  We can easily find enjoyment in useless pastimes.  In hours upon hours of warming a chair or couch watching sports or movies.  Extremely overpaid people doing nothing useful for the Kingdom of God.  Sure a few have testimonies to give after a victory.  But isn't that time better spent in service to God in some way?  

Scripture talks about sin that easily entangles.  Oh yes it does.  More often than not we rush headlong into it.  Then people really stop seeing Jesus and they just see us.

Look at the lives of the Apostles.  Look at the training they received from Jesus.  How much of their personal lives mattered?  Look at the book of Acts.  Read again what the PEOPLE said. The recognized that they had been with Jesus. 

I admit that I have hobbies.  I also read a lot.  Ok more than a lot.  But my most cherished times in recent years is my talks with Jesus in the mornings on my way to start my day.  

More than is possible in this world with an earthly best friend, in Christ, I can meet up with Him every day and He never tires of it.

Moses spent so much time with Jesus that in the times he was among the people he had to wear a veil.  The reflection was too much!

Can the same be said of you in your walk with God?  That if it came down to it, that you could be accused of being with Jesus?  I hope that I can be.  As I have written of already, the more things and stuff that I let go of the more freedom that I have in Christ.  You see, that's where I learned that I was carrying a backpack while trying to carry my cross.  If we only have on the full armor of God, as it says in Ephesians, then we are adequately ready to carry it with the power of the Holy Spirit within us.  We have let go of what's entangled around us that we have convinced ourselves that we have to have. 

We honestly lie more to ourselves than we do to God or others.  We listen to the voice of God's enemy before we listen to God's word. 

Then the world just sees another person rather than the person of Jesus. 

Look on the roads of the United States.  Impatience, distraction, rage. Hardly signs of a Christian.  Look at what is in the headlines that the so-called media shows us.  They reveal that which Scriptures say people will be like.  2 Timothy 3.
"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, 
disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Hardly the image of Christ.  These are a description of both those within the Church and outside of it. Many so-called churches today are empty shells.  Christ isn't with them. 

That description in Timothy shows a person who isn't Christ-like.  

If you see those attitudes in yourself, it's time to get on your knees and ask for forgiveness.  To repent and turn away from that kind of life.  Reflect Jesus in your life.  Oh there's some that call Jesus a weak pacifist.  Look again at the Scriptures.  Jesus was no doormat.  Doormats don't go face-to-face with others and win every single time. 

Look at your life this morning.  Stop worrying.  Stop fretting about your imperfections.  Simply ask Jesus how He would like you to be, then be it.  Yes you are going to fall down more than a time or two.  It's why what we go through is called a lesson.  You have to repeat in order to learn.  

Let people see Christ in you and you will help change the world until He returns. 

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